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World crime chiefs meet in Bangkok, agree to get tough on illegal tiger trade

Bangkok, Thu, 16 Feb 2012 ANI

Bangkok (Thailand), Feb.16 (ANI): Crime chiefs from countries that have wild tigers have agreed to work together to combat the illegal trade in the big cats.


Heads of police and customs from 13 nations agreed to tighten controls and improve cross-border co-operation at a two-day meeting here, the BBC reports.


Only six sub-species of tiger remain, with fewer than 1,000 tigers in each group.


They are Amur; northern Indo-chinese; Malayan; Sumatran; Bengal and South China.hree subspecies-Bali; Javan and Caspian-are now classified as extinct.


Smuggling of tiger parts is one of the main threats facing the planet's remaining big cats, say experts.


Tigers' historical range once spread across Asia, from Turkey to the far east of Russia


Over the past century, the animals have lost 93 percent of their historical range


It is estimated that each adult tiger needs to kill "50 large prey" each year, but they are also opportunistic hunters, capturing fish, birds, reptiles etc


Tiger habitats are primarily forests or scrubland


"If we get the enforcement system right for the tiger, we will help save countless other species together with their ecosystems," said John Scanlon, Cites secretary general.


Criminals cannot prosper from abusing our shared national heritage," added Jean-Michel Louboutin, Interpol's executive director of police services.


Delegates also used the meeting to formally endorse the Interpol-led Project Predator.


The initiative, launched in November 2011, has three main aims: (1) Organizing collaborative, high-level international efforts to improve political will to tackle the problem of illegal trade in tiger parts; (2) Transforming politicians' will to act into tangible support from government departments and agencies and (3) Training enforcement officers in the necessary skills.


The meeting in Bangkok is the latest development in efforts to improve protection and conservation measures. (ANI)


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